Scenarios (Nameless Detective, #29)

ISBN: 1410402053
ISBN 13: 9781410402059
By: Bill Pronzini

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About this book

Few writers have ever had the loyal reader following of Bill Pronzini and his "Nameless Detective." In terms of life on the printed page, the "Nameless Detective" celebrated his 35th birthday in 2003. The fourteen stories in this collection span the entire 35 years of "Nameless's" existence. In "It's a Lousy World," Nameless proves that a friend of his did not commit the crime he was accused of - and shot for, while in "The Pulp Collection," Nameless finds that he has something in common with the dead stranger on the floor - they both collected pulp magazines. "Dead Man's Slough" and "The Ghost of Ragged-Ass Gulch" both force Nameless to leave his city of San Francisco and take to the hinterlands to solve a pair of strange murders. "Incident in a Neighborhood Tavern" is a slice of modern urban life - Nameless is just enjoying a quiet beer at the end of the bar when a punk comes in and robs the place, setting in motion a chain of events leading to the solving of two crimes at once. The classic story "La Bellezza Del Bellezze" finds Nameless solving a murder in an old Italian neighborhood, while in "Souls Burning" Nameless tries to help an old friend who just can't seem to stay out of trouble, but wants to make one last chilling try at setting things right. Here are fourteen first-rate crime fiction stories by Bill Pronzini, one of the true masters of the mystery story. Fans of Robert B. Parker and Donald Westlake will enjoy the life of "The Nameless Detective" in Bill Pronzini's Scenarios: A "Nameless Detective" Casebook.Bill Pronzini and his wife Marcia Muller live in California.

Reader's Thoughts


Here is a list of all the books (in order) Happy Reading.1971 The Snatch Random House 1973 The Vanished Random House 1973 Undercurrents Random House 1977 Blowback Ramdom House 1978 Twospot Putman 1980 Laybrinth St. Martin's Press 1980 A Killing In Xanadu Waves Press 1981 Hoodwinked St. Martin's Press 1982 Scattershot St. Martin's Press 1982 Dragonfire St. Martin's Press 1983 Bindlestiff St. Martin's Press 1983 Casefile St. Martin's Press 1984 Quicksilver St. Martin's Press 1984 Nightshades St. Martin's Press 1984 Double St. Martin's Press 1985 Bones St. Martin's Press 1985 Grave Yard Plots St. Martin's Press 1886 Dreadfall St. Martin's Press 1988 Shackles St. Martin's Press 1988 Small Fellonies St. Martin's Press 1990 Jackpot Delacorte 1991 Breakdown Delacorte 1992 Quarry Delacorte 1992 Epitaths Delacorte 1993 Demons Delacorte 1995 Hardcase Delacorte 1996 Spadework Crippen & Landru 1996 Sentinels Carroll & Graf 1997 Illusions Carroll & Graf 1998 Boobytrap Carroll & Graf 1999 Sluths Five Star 1999 Duo Five Star 2000 Crazybones Carroll & Graf 2002 Bleeders Carroll & Graf 2003 Spook Carroll & Graf 2003 Scenarios Five Star 2005 Nightcrawlers Forge 2006 Mourners Forge 2007 Savages Forge 2008 Feaver Forge 2009 Schemers Forge 2010 Betrayers Forge 2011 Camouflage Forge 2012 Hellbox Forge 2012 Kinsmen Cemetery Dance 2012 Femme Cemetery Dance 2013 Nemesis Forge

Barry Martin Vass

This is interesting on several levels. Scenarios is a collection of short stories, some of which have been revised and expanded into novels, some which have been written for different markets (one was a novelette published only in Japan some thirty years ago). It gives you a good insight into the writing process, and why writers make some of the choices they do. Bill Pronzini is a mystery writer, and a damn good one, and he has been writing his "Nameless Detective" novels for decades. And if you're a fan of the mystery/detective genre these are well worth reading. He always has some edge, some slant on human frailties and insights into the human character, which make these stories both believable and readable. And of course he is the partner of Marcia Muller, the outstanding author of the Sharon McCone detective novels. One of the highlights of this series of short stories is when the two writers combine their skills and put their two main characters together in "Season of Sharing", and we actually learn the name of the "Nameless Detective". Gasp!


Bill Pronzini tells a good story and this book is full of good short stories.


Very enjoyable collection of short stories(and one novella) featuring Pronzini's "Nameless Detective" (his name's Bill, except in the one collaboration with Marcia Muller, where he's referred to as Wolf.)


A mostly excellent short-story collection containing some really fine writing. One tale, "Souls Burning," may be one of the best short stories I have ever read. The stories in this book were originally published over a span of more than 30 years, and it's interested to see how they reflect the changes in the mystery genre as the years progress. A few of the early stories in particular suffer a bit from the constraints of the Mystery genre, with clues peppered into the story so obsessive puzzle-solvers can get excited and "solve" the crime. The second story in the book typifies this: first published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the story relies upon wordplay with one character's name to reveal the murderer. It's a stretch at the least. Sometimes these clues are way too obvious. Two jackets instead of one? Okay, that guy did it. Blond hair instead of red? That's no red herring. But most of the time Pronzini escapes this cliche and gives us a detective worthy of the job title. Like all too many eBook editions of old titles, this has obviously been scanned and OCR'ed from a printed edition -- and it shows. The book is peppered with odd characters the scanner didn't recognize and replaced with question marks. Quite a few other scanning errors / typos lurk throughout the book. One that sticks in my mind is what should have been the words "tom cat" that show up as "torn cat." The author deserved better.

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